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Awarded for service to the Community
Entered on roll: 2013
Bonnie is pragmatic and inspirational. She gets on with it. What happens is what she deals with.
Yvonne (Bonnie) Roberts OAM, born in Hobart on 28 June 1927, has a quick sense of what is needed and continues to help others despite her long battle with a rare form of melanoma.
In 2002, Bonnie was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the community, particularly women, through the National Council of Women of Tasmania and Caroline House. In 1980 the Royal Hobart Hospital awarded Bonnie a 15-year Long Service medal for her continuous and regular assistance with the Central Auxiliary.
Bonnie joined the National Council of Women in 1966 and has played an active role as a member of the Executive for over 46 years. She has served as State President, Vice President and Convener of numerous sub-committees. In this role she helped facilitate initiatives of lasting benefit to the community which include: promoting the establishment of a tertiary school of social work; the establishment of Salamanca Market (as requested by the initiator, Dr. John Clemente); and lobbied to retain the historic Cascades Female Factory. Bonnie has also served the Council on matters relating to housing, women and employment, legislation concerning the status of women, and mass media.
As a foundation board member of Caroline House, Bonnie steered the home from being totally funded by voluntary contributions to a fully recognised, government-funded shelter for women and later women with children. Bonnie highlighted the work of Caroline House by arranging delegations to meet politicians and bureaucrats.
Bonnie and her husband initiated and organised monthly bus trips, regular functions and holidays for elderly people for 21 years.
Between 1973 and 1979, Bonnie and her husband organised drug education seminars in Hobart and Launceston.
With Council members, Bonnie contributed to a range of social policy issues through submissions, including the Safe at Home response system for victims of domestic violence.